Earlier today at the Tokyo Dome Hotel the media were able to attend the press conference to announce the 2019 Champion Carnival bouts, with 13 contests being officially announced.
As previously reported the Minimumweight bout will see defending champion Shin Ono (23-9-3, 6) [小野 心] defending his title against Norihito Tanaka (17-7, 9) [田中教仁] on January 12th at the Korakuen Hall.
The Light Flyweight bout, to fill the recent vacancy left by Tetsuya Hisada (33-9-2, 19) [久田 哲也], will see Kenichi Horikawa (38-15-1, 12) [堀川 謙一] battle against Satoru Todaka (9-2-4, 3) [戸髙達], with this bout set to take place on February 14th, also at the Korakuen Hall.
The Flyweight bout, like the Minimumweight bout, had already been announced and will see Junto Nakatani (17-0, 12) [中谷 潤人] and Naoki Mochizuki (15-3, 8) [望月直樹] fight on February 2nd at the Korakuen Hall. This bout is to fill the vacancy left by Masayuki Kuroda (30-7-3, 16) [黒田 雅之], who like Hisada has stated he intends to fight for a world title in 2019.
The Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-4, 10) [奥本 貴之] will defend his title on April 21st in Osaka, and will see Okumoto battle against Yuta Matsuo (15-3-1, 8) [松尾雄太], in what will be Okumoto's second defense of the title.
The Bantamweight bout will be a unification bout as regular champion Yuta Saito (11-9-3, 8) [齊藤裕太], who has been suffering from illness recently, battling against recently crowned interim champion Hayato Kimura (28-10, 19) [木村隼人]. There is no set date on this bout, but it's expected to take place in Tokyo, with the Korakuen Hall the most likely venue.
The Super Bantamweight title will have it's vacancy filled on January 12th, on the same show as the Ono Vs Tanaka card. Fighting for the title will be Mugicha Nakagawa (24-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] and Ryoichi Tamura (11-3-1, 6) [田村 亮一], who will be looking to follow in the footsteps of former champion Shingo Wake (25-5-2, 17) [和氣 慎吾] who looks to be heading towards a world title fight, like Hisada and Kuroda.
Arguably the best match up for the Champion Carnival is the Featherweight bout, which will pit Taiki Minamoto (16-5, 13) [源大輝] against Reiya Abe (18-2, 9) [阿部 麗也], who will be battling former amateur stand out Daisuke Sugita (4-0, 3) [杉田大祐] in January before facing Minamoto on May 1st at the Korakuen Hall. This is, to us, the stand out bout of the Champion Carnival and is genuinely a mouth watering clash.
The Japanese Super Featherweight champion Masaru Sueyoshi (18-1-1, 11) [末吉 大] will take on Ken Osato (15-2-1, 4) [大里拳], in a rematch of the bout the two men had during the 2018 Champion Carnival. This contest will take place on May 4th at the Korakuen Hall and will see Osato looking to avenge his loss and Sueyoshi looking to repeat his win over Osato.
The unbeaten Shuichiro Yoshino (9-0, 7) [吉野 修一郎] will be making his 4th defense of the Japanese Lightweight title, as he takes on the challenge of Accel Sumiyoshi (11-4-3, 3) [アクセル住吉]. This bout is set to take place on April 11th at the Korakuen Hall.
Another bout that really whets the appetite is the Japanese Light Welterweight title bout. That contest will see champion Valentine Hosokawa (24-6-3, 11) [細川バレンタイン] defending his belt on April 6th at the Korakuen Hall against Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上] in a mouth watering step up for the challenger.
We'll see attention turn to Osaka for the Welterweight title bout, as Ryota Yada (18-4, 15) [矢田良太] defends his belt against Yuki Nagano (15-2, 11) [永野祐樹]. This bout is set to take place on April 21st, though the specific venue wasn't announced.
The Light Middleweight title bout will see Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-2, 8) [新藤寛之] defending the title against Hironobu Matsunaga (14-1, 8) [松永 宏信] in what should be a thrilling contest between a very hungry challenger and an under-rated champion. These two will clash at the Korakuen Hall on May 1st, as a double header with the Minamoto Vs Abe bout.
On March 2nd we'll see Japanese Middleweight champion Kazuto Takesako (10-0, 10) [竹迫司登] defending his belt against Shuji Kato (10-1-1, 6) [加藤収二], in what will be Takesako's second defense. This will also be at the Korakuen Hall.
At the moment the full details of who will be showing what bouts is unclear, but we're glad to now have most of the matches set, with dates and venues.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today at the EDION Arena Osaka fight fans got the chance to see a Japanese Super Flyweight title bout. the bout saw defending champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-4, 10) [奥本 貴之] taking on the unbeaten Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-1, 10) [橋詰将義], in what was Okumoto's first defense and Hashizume's first title bout.
The two men had sparred a lot on their familiarity showed as they looked to win the battle of jabs early on. Hashizume was the first to break away from that and began to up the pace. Okumoto went with the challenger, and started to show his better control of distance, though he was the slower man.
Ater 5 rounds the judges scorecards were all over the place. One card backed the challenger, 49-46, whilst Okumoto lead on the other cards, 49-46 and 48-47.
Hashizume began to raise the tempo again in the second half of the fight, and seemed to hurt Okumoto with a body shot in round 7. Okumoto battled back though and used his jab excellently before being dragged into a war in rounds 8 and 9, with men really digging their feet into the canvas and going to work. Hashizume then mixed it up again by taking the final round by boxing smartly, and it was one of the very few rounds all 3 judges agreed on.
At the final bell it seemed like both men had a fair argument for the win, though the judges struggled to split them, scoring the bout 96-95, to Okumoto, 97-93, to Hashizume, and 95-95 leading us to a draw.
At the final bell it seemed like Hashizume had more reason to be annoyed, he had regularly unsettled Okumoto, landed the better blows and had dictated the tempo and distance better. With the draw he stays in the mix, but will have to wait for a second shot, as Okumoto will need to make a mandatory defense in the new year against Yuta Matsuo(15-3-1, 8) [松尾雄太].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow we'll see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-3, 10) [奥本 貴之] making his first defense of the title he won earlier this year. The champion will be up against the once touted, and still unbeaten, Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-1, 10) [橋詰将義].
Today the two men weighed in for the contest and both managed to make the 115lb limit for the bout.
Both men made weight and it was made very clear that the two knew each other well, having sparred numerous times prior to agreeing to fight.
Okumoto stated it would be a tough game, but he seemed determined and spoke confidently, like a man who would go through anything to retain the title. Hashizume himself seemed even more confident, stating that he would become the champion tomorrow.
The bout won't be shown live any where, but it will be added to the Boxingraise service on demand after the contest takes places, giving their subscribers a chance to see this contest on a delay basis.
Related - Okumoto defends Japanese title against unbeaten Hashizume
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier today Green Tsuda held a press conference to announce their next big show "Crash Boxing 19", and revealed that it would be a triple title show, with a very good non-title supporting bout as well.
The main event will see Japanese Welterweight champion Ryota Yada (17-4, 14) [矢田良太] make his second defense of the title, as he takes on Shusaku Fujinaka (16-9-2, 10) [藤中 周作]. This promises to be an explosive contest but one where the champion will be heavily favoured to retain his title.
A better looking national title fight will see Japanese Super Flyweight champion Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-3, 10) [奥本 貴之] defending his title against the unbeaten Masayoshi Hashizume (16-0-1, 10) [橋詰将義]. Okumoto won the title earlier this year, outpointing Hiroyuki Kudaka, and will be favoured here given his experience. Hashizume was highly touted a few years ago, following success in the Rookie of the Year, but hasn't really built on that early success, and this is a big step up for him.
A Japanese Youth Super Flyweight title bout will see Ryosuke Nasu (9-3-3, 2) [那須亮祐] take on Yuto Nakamura (8-5, 7) [中村祐斗]. This is a really interesting match up between talented youngsters. Nasu comes into the bout following a good decision win over Kenta Matsui, and he has been hard matched through his career with bouts against the likes of Masamichi Yabuki and Naoto Iwai. Nakamura on the other hand is 2-3 in his last 5, but did score a huge win last time out over Futa Akizuki and this could be a really exciting fight.
Another potentially thrilling match up will see Toshiki Shimomachi (9-1-1, 5) [下町俊貴] battle Daisuke Watanabe (7-4, 4) [渡部大介]. The once beaten Shimomachi is on an 8 fight unbeaten run with 7 straight wins. Those wins saw him claim the Rookie of the Year title in 2017 at Super Bantamweight and has scored a couple of wins already this year, including a good one over Renan Portes. On the other hand Watanabe has been matched incredibly hard, facing the likes of Sho Nakazawa, Gakuya Furuhashi and Reiya Abe in his short career.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Earlier this year we saw Takayuki Okumoto (21-8-3, 10) [奥本 貴之] become the Japanese Super Flyweight champion, dethroning veteran Hiroyuki Kudaka [久高寛之] back in August.
Yesterday the champion and his team took part in a special celebration event, to talk about his title win, at a Chinese restaurant in Osaka City.
The event, attended by about 120 people, saw Okumoto thank all the supports and fans who had helped him to claim the title and revealed that his next defense was set for December 9th.
Although the champion didn't reveal who he would be fighting or where, though it's presumed that it will be in Osaka, the date did seem to be set in stone for his first defense.
The fighter certainly has eyes on bigger things than just being the champion of Japan and also spoke about his desire to become a world champion down the line.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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